The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

101 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10178-0061, USA
Tel:
Work +1 212 696 6000
Fax:
Fax +1 212 697 1559
Email:
Web:
www.curtis.com
Almaty, Astana, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Frankfurt am Main and 9 more

George Kahale III

Tel:
Work +1 212-696-6179
Email:
Web:
www.curtis.com/gkahale
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Work Department

International Arbitration; Corporate; Infrastructure Development; Oil and Gas; Electricity; Finance.

Position

George Kahale III, Curtis' Chairman, maintains an active practice in both international transactions and international arbitration. He has acted as lead counsel in some of the world’s largest and most publicized transactions and infrastructure projects in the international petroleum industry, representing energy ministries and national oil corporations in many oil and gas producing countries.  He also has been lead counsel in several of the world’s largest international arbitrations and is the head of the Firm’s renowned international arbitration practice.

Mr. Kahale was the subject of a feature article entitled "The Oil Baron" in the June 2008 issue of The American Lawyermagazine.  In February 2009, Latin Lawyer awarded its Restructuring Deal of the Year honor to a Curtis team led by Mr. Kahale for a series of financing transactions relating to oil projects in Venezuela.  In April 2009, The American Lawyer named Mr. Kahale one of its "Dealmakers of the Year" for his work representing KazMunayGas, the national oil company of Kazakhstan, in agreements for the development of the giant Kashagan oil field.

Mr. Kahale is recognized as a leading international arbitration lawyer by Chambers, Legal 500 and Global Arbitration Review. Legal 500 Latin America 2013 reported that Mr. Kahale is regarded by clients as "one of the very best arbitration lawyers in the world." According to Chambers Global 2015: 'Sources praise his "laser focus on the right issues and questions," as well as his professional approach and awareness of cultural sensitivities.' Chambers Global 2016 went on to say: 'Sources note that "he has always stood out and his stewardship of his team is beyond belief."' In 2015-2016, Mr. Kahale led the Curtis team in the annulment proceeding in the Mobil v. Venezuela arbitration, succeeding in annulling a US$1.4 billion award, the largest annulment in ICSID history.

Mr. Kahale has written many articles on topics of international interest, such as sovereign immunity, the act of state doctrine, international arbitration and international petroleum contracts. In 2013, he was selected by the Burton Awards as a Distinguished Legal Writing Award winner for his article entitled: "Is Investor-State Arbitration Broken?" He followed up that article in 2018 with "Rethinking ISDS," which has been the source of extensive commentary and debate. He has also appeared as a speaker and lecturer at various seminars and conferences. In 2014, he delivered the keynote address at the Eighth Annual Juris Investment Treaty Arbitration Conference; in 2015, he lectured at Arbitration Academy in Paris; and in 2018, he delivered the inaugural Brooklyn Lecture on International Business Law.

Languages

English; Spanish; French; Arabic

Member

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; American Bar Association; American Society of International Law; Oxford Energy Policy Club

Education

New York University School of Law, J.D.; City University of New York, Hunter College, B.A.


Latin America: International firms

International arbitration

Within: Leading lawyers

George Kahale III - Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Within: International arbitration

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP fields a number of ‘truly brilliant’ individuals who ‘take pride in learning everything about each case, not only the legal aspects but also the factual, technical, and economic aspects’. The team ‘brings an international perspective and a proximity to the client’. It has a market-leading practice representing states as respondents in high-stakes investor-state arbitrations, particularly in the oil and gas sector, and also has commercial arbitration capabilities. The practice counts Venezuela as a key client and has handled a number of high-profile ICSID cases for the state, including an arbitration brought by ConocoPhillips’ subsidiaries relating to petroleum exploration and development projects. The team includes lawyers based in New York, Washington DC, London and Mexico City, and is led by George Kahale III, who is ‘a bright legal mind with an excellent understanding of how companies and governments work’, which makes him ‘unbeatable in both commercial and investment arbitration’. Benard Preziosi is ‘great at cross-examining witnesses and experts’; Mark O'Donoghue, Claudia Frutos-Peterson, Kate Brown de Vejar and Gabriela Álvarez-Ávila are all noted.

[back to top]

United States: Dispute resolution

International arbitration

Within: Leading lawyers

George Kahale III - Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Within: International arbitration

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has 'a sophisticated arbitration practice', which routinely represents sovereign states in high-stakes disputes. Leveraging 'an excellent ability to cut through challenges and make a case clearly and concisely', the team recently acted for the Republic of India on six separate arbitration matters brought by foreign investors in the telecoms sector, which included a case brought by Vodafone under the India-Netherlands BIT. The practice group also secured an ICSID annulment for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela concerning a $1.4bn award issued in 2014 in a case involving Mobil’s oil projects in Venezuela. The firm's roster of clients includes the State of Kuwait, the State of Libya and Turkmenistan. In New York, department head George Kahale III is ‘a bright legal mind’, and senior counsel Mark O’Donoghue, who acts for clients such as Republic of Cyprus, is ‘first rate’. Also recommended are recently promoted partner Robert Garcia and Washington DC-based Claudia Frutos-Peterson. Miriam Harwood left the firm for Squire Patton Boggs. All named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

[back to top]


Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to